Men’s Health; the month-not the magazine.
Max Liles, Senior Director, The Counseling Center
While I don’t want to get too far down into the discussion of “what it means to be a man”, I would like to explore some things that can help out in highlighting what you can do to be the best man that you can be mind, body, spirit.
To streamline our discussion we’re going to narrow it down:
Mental and emotional health.
MENTAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH
I know I said when we started off, that we weren’t going to get into definitions, yet – here I go:
Some people would define a man as strong – in physique and will; tough of body and mind; men don’t show emotions; men are loners; men are natural leaders. These ideologies, though cool in like the context of, Rambo or Hulk Hogan (#whatchagonnadobrother?!), it contributes to the stigma that men that don’t live up to that expectation are less than, or weak.
>Talk about contributing to the stigma of mental health issues. Not meeting these expectations can contribute to a never-ending cycle of guilt, shame, and denial. In this case, this stigma is killing people.
Men and women experience mental health issues. While gender can contribute differently to varying diagnoses, so can a lot of other things. With that being said, the prevalence of some disorders and symptoms is greater in men than in women. Yes, men are more likely to experience certain mental health diagnoses.
Some quick stats:
- Men are over 2.5 times more likely to present with Alcohol Use Disorder.
- “Males make up about three-quarters of those with phencyclidine (PCP) related emergency room visits.” DSM5, p. 522
- The prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder presents at a ratio of – 1.5:1 male to female, and that number climbs to 3:1 male to female when heroin is isolated as the drug of choice.
It’s ok to not be ok.
While the female population is more at risk for attempting suicide, the lethality rate of suicide for men is higher; about 3.5 times higher according to National Alliance of Mental Illness.
Ego is the enemy. If you need help – seek help.
TCC aims to offer mental health services in varying formats through the utilization of multiple admissions/entry points for client encounters, comprehensive care through the entirety of potential treatment settings, and the use of innovative and alternative therapies to provide the most effective treatment possible.
While I don’t think that as a male lifting weight or fighting in MMA is a requirement – I do subscribe to the school of thought that every man needs to practice intentional movement in a way that prepares them to participate in their life past what is the bare minimum.
I think that there is a call to participate in sports and the outdoors in most of us. We are involved in athletics as a youth, pick up hobbies in college, participate in long family traditions – then we get to a certain mark where we enter “retirement”. Life gets busy, priorities shift, and we give up hobbies and activities that were once hallmarks of our existence.
We quit playing. We quit having fun. We suffer the consequences for it.
For me it is lifting weights – powerlifting, specifically – and it would be really cool if you did that with me, BUT, it doesn’t have to be that. CrossFit, hunting, running, walking, bike riding, fishing, climbing, bodybuilding, golf, boxing… whatever – JUST. MOVE.
>In addition to your own prescription of physical activity, check in with a pro every now and again to make sure the engine is still in good shape. Males are terrible patients. We are notorious for waiting until we have major issues until we go to see a doctor. If you don’t have an established primary care doctor – get one.
Physical Health is important.
Preventative healthcare is important.
Don’t wait until the car blows up to get it fixed; change the oil.
TCC is a proud partner of Compass Community Health, a Federally Qualified Health Care center that focuses on increasing access to primary care and other medical services for our community at large, specialized populations, and marginalized groups.
Internally, TCC sponsors multiple efforts to increase staff participation in their own physical health:
- Employee health nursing
- Health coaching
- Gym Access
- Staff Yoga and CrossFit classes
I encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we continue to share our thoughts and practices in the Business of Mental Healthcare. If you or someone you love is in need of behavioral treatment of any kind–reach us at 740.354.6685.
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